Tuesday, November 03, 2009

On Election Day, a Bloomberg story: the mayor disavows influence on Atlantic Yards

Peter Krashes, former president of the Dean Street Block Association, encountered Mayor Mike Bloomberg on the campaign trail two Saturdays ago at the Grand Army Plaza Farmers Market.

Krashes told the mayor that neighbors near the Atlantic Yards footprint had problems with ongoing construction activities. Bloomberg responded that there wasn't much the city could do.

"He specifically said it's a state project and the city doesn't have much sway or influence," Krashes recalled. "I told him I didn't think that was true. From what I hear, you are pushing quite hard on the project."

(After all, didn't his MTA appointees lead the charge for the revision of the Vanderbilt Yard deal?)

Public benefit?

"I said I didn't believe the project had a public benefit." Krashes recalled, "and I asked him what he thought it was." The conversation ended, however, as campaign aides stepped in and moved Bloomberg along to another appointment.

They gave Krashes a number to call, but he never got didn't get any answers [updated] until--guess what--just before the election.

But we know the answer to Krashes' question, as reported in September by the New York Observer regarding the Independent Budget Office's (IBO) conclusion that the AY arena would be a money-loser for the city:
“I don’t know what the IBO studies would have shown back when they tried to establish the value of Central Park or Prospect Park or anything else,” [Bloomberg] told reporters. “These are the kinds of projects you have to do because without that we don’t have a future, and we’re going to get this one done.”


Any alternative?


No one voting on Atlantic Yards issues can discern much different from the Democratic candidate, Comptroller Bill Thompson. AY voters have to go with Green Party candidate Bill (Rev. Billy) Talen.

Those voting on issues like term limits can find a difference between Thompson and Bloomberg. But the challenger has not exactly distinguished himself with a bold alternative agenda.

1 comment:

  1. The Mayor: Big enough to overturn term limits, small enough to be embarrassed about his biggest development project.

    When does Bloomberg ever deny power over something? Only when its a bloody failure.

    Too bad Thompson never picked up on this.

    ReplyDelete